As we contemplated the meaning and mission of THPL we thought of the kinds of people who would be role models for what you could become if you lived the THPL life. You would be someone who truly took life to another level. Who dreamed big and then delivered even bigger. A person who made people around them better and even people who they had not met would be better. And so it is that Hugh Herr is a role model for THPL. The first time I met Hugh was at the Google Zeitgiest conference – he was on stage dazzling us and showing us that the impossible is possible. And he did this for a much bigger audience with his TED talk that was just released this week. Hugh Herr is building the next generation of bionic limbs and robotic prosthetics inspired by nature’s own designs. Herr lost both legs in a climbing accident 30 years ago; now, as the head of the MIT Media Lab’s Biomechatronics group, he shows his incredible technology in a talk that’s both technical, deeply personal and emotional. It is hard to watch and not be amazed and touched by his vision for what is possible.
Having seen Hugh before I thought he was incredible and was looking forward to watching this TED talk and then he took it to another level when he decided to use his team and his technology to help ballroom dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis, who lost her left leg in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing perform again for the first time on the TED stage using the magic of his technology. I think that Hugh said it best during his speech when he said that “there are no such thing as disabled people, only disabled technology”.
We can help people to achieve so much if indeed we can bring to our own endeavors elements of “anything is possible”. Hugh is a role model for this, for certain.
Loving life and bionics!